Sunday, August 30, 2009


The hills surrounding the town of Mosier are on fire....

It's about 37 miles away from where I live. The lady who cuts my hair and I drove to The Dalles to do some errands and passed it by.

I almost got a great shot of the helicopter with their big water buckets dumping, but the smoke kept swallowing them whole.

Tonight I could smell the fire as I drove home.

It reminded me of our forest fire about five years ago.
Camping out in the car after being evacuated.
I had a smoke smell in my sinuses for days.

They used Mi-Mis like these above to douse the fire with water from the Columbia and to drop retardants.

This is across the street from where I live. It was right here... right at this very spot on the other side of a two lane road that they stopped the fire. My house, though you cannot see it here, is just to your left. Two lanes of pavement away. It blows my mind how close that fire came to eating everything I own.

Our fire department is completely volunteer. They did a hell of a job with help from fire departments from all over Oregon and Washington. Just as they are doing right now, up river in Mosier.
Amazing men and women.

What else would you use for a forest fire on a great river like the Columbia?


  1. god bless the volunteer firemen.

    those sons of bitches are the salt of the earth.

  2. billy pilgrim-- So right you are! We are lucky to have them. I'm glad I've got that going for me.

  3. That's odd, I've been checking your blog for new posts and wasn't seeing any, all of a sudden there they are.

    Fires are ugly things, I had to clean up the mess when my mothers home burned up. The fire department got it out but it was a total loss so I had to tear it apart and haul the whole mess to the landfill. What I couldn't recycle anyway.

    In Colville the volunteer firemen were proud of saying they had saved another foundation, ha ha ha. Great bunch of guys though.

  4. BBC- Blogger is weird. It does that sometimes.

    Fires are scary and oddly entertaining as well. But they do make a horrible mess. Here our guys train on buildings that people donate to burn for a tax write off... but then they have to spend to clean up the mess!

    I guess if you've got a good foundation... (providing that we aren't talking girdles here)
    you've got something to rebuild on. :-)

  5. Wow, we've had a few fires going on here recently too...but nothing as close to me as that. It is awful, though, the way the air gets so nasty and ash comes down on everything. At least you got some great shots out of it.

  6. laura b.-- From what I hear, your fires down there are much bigger than ours up here this year.
    They are so dangerous.

    I always have my camera with me now. Drive my family crazy and amuses my friends. I've caught the bug. Eeek.

  7. Ah, I had the link to your blog wrong, just kept going to the same post. Oh well, I take my turn at being a fucking idiot at times also.

  8. BBC-- Ah... welcome to my club! (The "duh" club).
    You have a lot of company. hee hee

  9. OMG! Thank goodness you and your home are ok. It's awful, those pictures look gorgeous, too bad such a destructive thing can look so pretty.

    LSD-induced Lion Hugs,

  10. Wow. Great photos. Glad you are safe from this.

  11. Wow... Amazing to get so close. Glad you made it through at the time.

  12. Sebastien-- No problem getting home. I can go safely on the opposite side of the Columbia. They are ghastly and beautiful to watch... fires.

    LSD-induced Lion laughs and hugs... lots of laughs with that crap!

  13. damrks-- Me too. Once was enough. It only takes about 15 minutes to burn a mobile home to the ground.

    Thanks for the compliment.

  14. Pamela-- Our cliffs are basalt rock, which gives us a lot of protection by the freeway. The fire is mostly on top of the gorge and was only coming down in fingers. It is incredible to watch.

  15. Great pictures. I have never experienced anything like that. Glad you're not in the line of fire.

  16. Ananda: Wow, that fast? Then you'd better hope for some tornados to come in and toss the mobile homes clear of the fires.

  17. Hoping for lots of rain for all the folks in the path of these fires, both in your area and out
    in California too. Thank goodness for the bravery of the firefighters who brave fires everyday.

  18. I used to be a wildland firefighter in norhtern California and that stuff is as scary as hell.

  19. Scary stuff. I lost my childhood home, one I helped build, to a fire and it's devastating. I'm glad yours was spared.

    "I almost got a great shot" Ah, the story of photography!

  20. AlienCG-- Thanks. I'm glad that we're not in the tick of it this time either. Once is enough for me.

  21. dmarks-- hahahaha I might end up in Oz. Wait... I'd like that actually. :-)

  22. Cube-- I think they have it under control now. The ones in California are worse. Crazy4coens has one by her home too!!! I'm not worried about me, I know we are safe, but she's important to me, so I do worry there. Yes... let's all hope for rain and be thankful for fire fighters.

  23. Churlita-- You never cease to amaze me! My hat is off to you... that takes courage and strength. Thank you!!

  24. Secret agent woman-- Yes... very scary. Fire can take so much from you in the wink of an eye and there is nothing that can undo that. I'm sorry you lost your home. That must have been awful!

    Ha... yes, almost getting the shot is something I do often. I'm dragging my camera out and the shot is going away... aaaaggghhh!